Trump’s base, many of whom harbor conspiracy theories about threats to U.S. sovereignty. On the other hand, if aggressive sovereignty becomes a key driver of U.S. trade policy, America’s economy and trade could suffer—bigly.
America has the sovereign right to ignore WTO rulings. But, as the report admits, injured countries also have the right to impose WTO-permitted retaliation. This retaliation is usually in the form of broadly targeted tariffs that choke off U.S. exports and cause considerable pain to affected U.S. exporters and workers.
Moreover, sovereignty is a two-edged sword. The Administration fails to mention that America has a stellar record of winning at the WTO, particularly in using the WTO offensively to challenge unfair foreign restrictions against U.S. manufactured goods, farm products, and services, especially in China. If assertive sovereignty is the new coin of the realm in trade